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Characteristics of Family Physicians Delivering Home Visits: A Canadian Retrospective Cohort Study

  • Mary M. Scott
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Mary M. Scott MSc, Bruyere Research Institute, 43 Bruyere St. Ottawa, ON K1N5C8, Canada.
    Affiliations
    Bruyere Research Institute (M.M.S., S.R.I., A.T.H., D.G.M., P.T.), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    Department of Medicine (M.M.S., T.R., D.G.M., P.T.), School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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  • Haris Imsirovic
    Affiliations
    ICES uOttawa (H.I., M.P., A.T.H., D.G.M., P.T.), Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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  • Michael Pugliese
    Affiliations
    ICES uOttawa (H.I., M.P., A.T.H., D.G.M., P.T.), Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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  • Sarina R. Isenberg
    Affiliations
    Bruyere Research Institute (M.M.S., S.R.I., A.T.H., D.G.M., P.T.), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    Department of Medicine (S.R.I.), University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    Department of Medicine (S.R.I., P.T.), Division of Palliative Care, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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  • Tim Ramsay
    Affiliations
    Department of Medicine (M.M.S., T.R., D.G.M., P.T.), School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    Department of Clinical Epidemiology, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (T.R., A.T.H., D.G.M., P.T.), Ottawa Methods Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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  • Amy T. Hsu
    Affiliations
    Bruyere Research Institute (M.M.S., S.R.I., A.T.H., D.G.M., P.T.), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    ICES uOttawa (H.I., M.P., A.T.H., D.G.M., P.T.), Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    Department of Clinical Epidemiology, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (T.R., A.T.H., D.G.M., P.T.), Ottawa Methods Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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  • David Ponka
    Affiliations
    Department of Family Medicine (D.P.), University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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  • Henry Siu
    Affiliations
    Department of Family Medicine (H.S.), McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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  • Douglas G. Manuel
    Affiliations
    Bruyere Research Institute (M.M.S., S.R.I., A.T.H., D.G.M., P.T.), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    Department of Medicine (M.M.S., T.R., D.G.M., P.T.), School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    ICES uOttawa (H.I., M.P., A.T.H., D.G.M., P.T.), Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    Department of Clinical Epidemiology, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (T.R., A.T.H., D.G.M., P.T.), Ottawa Methods Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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      Abstract

      Context

      Home visits have become increasingly uncommon although evidence suggests they improve healthcare quality and reduce overall expenditures. This study identifies the primary care physicians delivering home visits at patients’ end of life in Ontario, Canada, describes characteristics of primary care physicians delivering end-of-life home visits, and explores associations with delivery.

      Objectives

      Identify the primary care physicians delivering home visits at patients' end of life in Ontario, Canada, describe characteristics of primary care physicians delivering end-of-life home visits, and explore associations with delivery.

      Methods

      A retrospective cohort design using population-level health administrative data housed at ICES. The cohort was composed of primary care physicians in Ontario, Canada between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2019, who were registered in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario database dataset on or after January 1, 1990 and as of March 31, 2016.

      Results

      A total of 9884 physicians were identified, of which 2568 (25.7%) delivered at least one end-of-life home visit. Physician characteristics showing increased odds ratio (OR) of home visit delivery were older age (OR 1.01 [95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.00–1.02]) international training (OR 1.28 [95% CI:1.04–1.59]), previous home visit experience (OR 1.02 [95% CI: 1.01–1.02]), capitation models of remuneration; namely enhanced fee-for-service models (OR 1.5 [95%CI: 1.17–2.00]) and mainly capitation model (OR 1.4 [95% CI:1.11–1.79]), and population size of practice location with highest odds in small rural or remote areas (<9000 residents) (OR 1.38 [95%CI: 1.02–1.88]) and large metropolitan areas (OR 1.84 [95%CI: 1.46–2.57]).

      Conclusion

      This research confirms previous evidence and identifies novel primary care physicians’ characteristics associated with home visit practice patterns. Furthermore, it highlights characteristics amenable to policy or system-level changes (e.g., remuneration model, training, and experience) that could increase the provision of home visits which may greatly improve the dying experience of Canadians.

      Key Words

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